Microscale GIS Analysis of Landscape Perception for Improved ...

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In this study, we analyzed GIS-based visitor-employed photography (VEP) to identify the most impressive landscape objects on the walking trails of the Jeoji Gotjawal Experimental Forest, a unique forest on Jeju Island, Korea, which has been recognized for its potential as an ecotourism destination. The researchers asked the subjects to take impressive landscape pictures using a smartphone while walking along the forest trails. We acquired 183 photographs with GPS coordinates, preference value points, and simple reasons for preference from each individual, and we converted the photographs into spatial information data to analyze the preferred landscape objects and hotspots. The results show that GIS-based VEP is useful for not only identifying visitors’ favorite landscapes in forests from a visual aspect, but also exploring the location and characteristics of their preferred forest spaces with microscale spatial data. This study can provide practical guidance for the planning and management of forest spaces as sustainable ecotourism destinations in the future.